I’ve been reading through the gospel of Matthew for the past few months, and recently read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. As I pondered the actions of each of the servants, and the Master’s reaction to the work they did (or didn’t do), I realize that so often I’ve found myself like the servant who had been given only one talent.
He buried the talent that had been entrusted to him by the Master, because he was afraid of losing it. As I consider his actions, I understand his fear. Because he had only one talent, he had no room for error. If he invested the talent and lost it, he would have NOTHING when the Master returned. So he played it safe. He made sure he would at least have the one talent he was given.
Often those who have been given fewer resources, and/or fewer abilities allow fear to keep them from taking risks because there is so much to lose. There is no room for mistakes. One wrong move could cause them to lose everything.
Have you ever felt like you have NO ROOM FOR ERROR? Do you ever find yourself feeling tense, walking a tightrope, trying to make sure NOTHING goes wrong?
I guess we would call that a lack of margin. Think about it. This lack of margin wasn’t a result of anything the servant had done wrong.
The Master had chosen to give the servant only ONE.
The Master entrusted the servant with ONE.
The Master expected the servant to do something with good with ONE.
The Master didn’t expect the servant to do with ONE what the other servants did with their 5 and 2, but HE EXPECTED HIM TO DO SOMETHING. The master could have kept the one and produced the same results as the servant. But the servant decided that what he had been given wasn’t enough. He looked at what the other servants had been given and decided that because he couldn’t do what they could do, the best option would be to do nothing.
As the Master strongly rebukes the servant, he explains to the servant that he should have at least put the money in the bank so it accumulated interest. In other words, DO SOMETHING even if that something is small.
This story is another reminder that faithfulness isn’t measured by the size of our results, but by our continued sustained effort. It’s doing the good work over and over and over again–even when the results are small or even absent.
I don’t know what your life looks like today. Perhaps you’ve found yourself feeling like your work doesn’t matter or that you don’t have enough money or education or experience or talent or health to make a difference in the lives of others. Perhaps you’ve found yourself comparing your situation to others and you’re feeling quite sorry for yourself because life is hard for you, and you can’t quite seem to acquire the wonderful life that EVERYONE else has.
Perhaps you’re right. Perhaps others have been given more. But is that your business? Our Father requires MUCH from those who have been given MUCH. My question to you is: Can you be content with what you’ve been given knowing that your Father specifically, and wisely chose what was best for you? Will you use what you’ve been given to do something good–even when it seems too small to use?
Do Something Good
no matter how small
no matter how seemingly insignificant
do not assume your smile means nothing
Do not assume you don’t have enough time
or enough knowledge
or enough money
Give the little you have
Give it with much love
knowing that in God’s economy,
little things done with MUCH love,
They become GREAT THINGS
Do something good.
Do not compare yourself to someone else,
Do not try to imitate someone else,
Do not look to the right or to the left,
Look right into the eyes of the one who needs what you have,
Pour cold water into the cup of the thirsty,
Put morsels in to the hands of the hungry,
Speak life-filled words into the ears of the dying,
Dare to speak words of healing over the sick and hurting,
Do something GOOD.